You’ve likely been hearing about the importance of proper oral hygiene since you were a little kid. Excellent overall health starts with a healthy smile. In fact, your mouth is linked to several other parts of the body and mouth lesions.
5 Importance of Oral Hygiene
1. It Impacts Your Overall Health
Other oral health problems like gum infections can often be signs of a more serious health condition, like diabetes. Other health issues that are caused by poor oral health include:
- Bacterial Pneumonia
- Infective Endocarditis
- Low birth weight
- Pregnancy complications
Research has found that gum disease or periodontal disease increases inflammation. Chronic inflammation affects several different body systems and leads to a whole host of health concerns. Inflammation is a critical factor in the following serious diseases:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
2. Helps You Stay Heart Healthy
Research has found that people with gum disease are at an increased risk of heart disease.
Signs of gum disease include:
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Hard brown deposits and buildup along the gum line
Making sure you take good care of your teeth and gums reduces your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions.
3. Contributes to a Health Pregnancy
A study from The University of Sydney found that good oral health in pregnancy can reduce the risk of premature birth. In fact, gum disease that severely advances during pregnancy can result in premature birth and babies born with low birth weight. What’s more, bacteria from tooth decay in pregnant women transfer to the baby in utero, making them more likely to get cavities when their teeth grow in! So in order to have a healthy, full-term pregnancy and ensure you’re setting your little one up for optimal oral health from the get-go, practice good oral hygiene habits before, during, and after pregnancy.
4. Lowered Risk for Dementia
Studies have found that the bacteria that cause gum disease are also associated with the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. The most significant effects can be avoided if gum disease is caught early enough. But when it’s left untreated, the risk of tooth loss and receding gums increases.
5. Reduce the Risk of Oral Cancer
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy dramatically reduces your risk of developing certain cancers, mouth and throat cancer. In addition to good dental hygiene, here are some ways to prevent oral cancers:
- Quit smoking
- Stay away from secondhand smoke
- Use SPF to prevent skin cancer on the lips
- Get vaccinated against HPV
How To Improve Oral Health?
Improving oral health is easy through preventative dental care habits like brushing, flossing, and regular dental exams. Keep the following oral health tips in mind for optimal oral hygiene:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss every day
- Use mouthwash
- Rinse your mouth out with water after eating
- Don’t use tobacco products
- Limit alcohol intake
- Eat a healthy diet
- Avoid sugary snacks
Your oral health is an essential piece of the overall health puzzle. A basic oral health hygiene routine that includes proper brushing at least twice a day to keep your mouth clean, avoiding tobacco use, and regular dental visits can go a long way toward optimizing your oral health and avoiding serious dental conditions. If you want a better idea of your oral hygiene and how to improve it, it starts with scheduling a check-up. Book an appointment with Great Alpine Dental today. Our team of compassionate and caring dentists and dental hygienists ensure every patient achieves their best dental health and has a smile they love.